While a joint rules committee was quick to embrace an untested and costly water contaminant limit (see related above), its Democratic majority was having nothing to do with an education program that could save money and improve student learning.

State Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut and others have been advocating for quite a while that students should be given credit for learning outside the classroom. This would be done in business and other settings and the students would actually have to master the skill being offered in order to gain the credit.

Teachers’ unions, of course, object. They see this as a threat to their monopoly on public education. School superintendents also object, based on what they see as a lack of local control over education.

The superintendents and local school boards ought to be working WITH Edelblut to address that issue, rather than merely saying “no way, no how.”

Edelblut notes that the program isn’t a gut course for kids. He cited one course, offered by BAE Systems, that had been taken by two dozen high schoolers but only two of them had applied themselves enough to earn course credit.

On a 6-4 party line vote, the Democrat-controlled Joint Committee on Administrative Rules last week objected to the new learning program. The vote makes it more difficult for Edelblut to proceed but he says he will move forward and we hope he does. It is worth the effort.